Should you be in the area of St James and looking for some fine wines, then you’d be likely to visit the shop of Berry Bros. & Rudd. Even if you’re no connaisseur its worth visiting the premises which opened in 1698 in St James’ Street just round the corner from their new shop in Pall Mall.
The area around the shop has several nice little alleys that link Pall Mall with nearby Piccadilly and are well worth exploring. One of these is Pickering Place which runs off St James’s Street. As you enter the alley you will see a plaque which commemorates the site of the Texas Legation.
At the top of the plaque is the seal of the Republic of Texas. The text of the plaque reads: “Texas Legation In this building was the legation for the ministers from the Republic of Texas to the Court of St. James 1842 – 1845. Erected by the Anglo-Texan Society“.
The invasion of the Texas Republic by forces from neighboring Mexico looked almost certain, so the government of the republic sought to foster international ties. It did this by opening the Texas Legation in both London & Paris. When Texas started negotiations to join the United States in 1845, Britain lobbied Texas to remain independent. The British even offered to guarantee Texas’s borders with both the United States and Mexico. Texas was strategically placed for the British, acting as a counterweight to the United States. When the Republic joined the union and became a state in 1845 the legations were shut down.
Pickering Place is also said to be the smallest square in London It was William Pickering, son-in-law of the founder of Berry Bros who actually created Pickering Place (then known as Pickering Court) in the 18th century.